Top Ten Christmas Movies

Tis the season for radio stations to play the same song done by 30 different artists over and over again, for the deluge of television shows going on mid-season hiatus, and the depressing fact that there are no good Christmas movies that have come out since, well, decades.  So to preface this article, I am not much of a Christmas person.  I am not the best with gift buying or even wrapping presents.  If there isn’t a decorative bag big enough to fit the present then it’s certainly not getting wrapped.  It isn’t that I am a Scrooge come the holiday season, I am certainly not making fun of kids that use crutches or poking fun at the less fortunate, but rather I am just not the holiday enjoying person.  As a film fan, the Christmas season is more or less a decent time for films.  This is the time when the big Oscar movies get released and some super shitty Christmas movies.  Utterly formulaic and just tiring to watch, I decided to compile my list of favorite Christmas that you can play at your next Ugly Sweater Party (white people…sigh) or some other holiday party.

10.  It’s a Wonderful Life

BOOOOOO!  HISSSSSSSS!  How could I put such a classic film at the bottom of a list on the top 10 Christmas movies?  Listen, I am putting this on here as to avoid the awkward conversation I will have with my father, since he considers this one of the best Christmas movies ever.  Everything about this film resonates with him and it shows through his love of Christmas.  I admire that devotion, I admire that he is unabashed in his love of the film and what it really means for the spirit of Christmas.  The classic Frank Capra directed 1946 film deals with the heavy subject matter of belonging and importance.  Jimmy Stewart is George Bailey, a man on the brink of self-destruction and suicide, is saved by a guardian angel in which George is shown what the life of the town and his family is like without him.  One of things I always found interesting about the movie is juxtaposition of Socialism into the mix.  Henry Potter is corporate, capitalist fat cat that, in the alternate reality, has turned the pristine town of Bedford Falls into Pottersville.  Now, yeah having the town named after the essential bad guy is a dick move, but Pottersville has sleazy bars, jazz music and gambling.  It seems like a pretty kick ass town honestly.

Anyways, I understand the general theme of redemption and sacrifice.  George Bailey inhabits the role of the Christ like father figure who gives and sacrifices in order to bring some good into the world.  With the world crashing down around him, it seems hopeless until he takes stock in what he has around him.  A loving wife and family,  and a community that comes together to help out one another.  It is also a representation of the individual spirit, one where the sense of accomplishment shouldn’t be measured in the material wealth that one has, but rather the wealth of those around him.

“Dear George: Remember no man is a failure who has friends. Thanks for the wings! Love Clarence.”

9.  Batman Returns

Now this is what I am talking about.  Yes this movie does take place around and on Christmas.  You think Gotham City just had Christmas tree’s put up for the hell of it?  Shit no, those trees would get in the way of the Gothic architecture that the entire city is built-in.  I really feel like any movie that has Christmas as a theme around it really can be enhanced with the inclusion of Batman.  But this movie really has it all; a sexy Catwoman (Michelle Pfeiffer…meow!), Danny Devito as the Penguin and even motherfucking Christopher Walken.  In the grand scheme of things, this would be the comic book geek’s Christmas movie.

8.  What Would Jesus Buy?

OK, so I previously talked about this movie on the past Black Friday this year, which you can read here.  The film is a documentary and rather honest look at the wayward lives of those that no longer celebrate Christmas in the traditional sense of family and togetherness, but rather this break neck consumerist controlled holiday season.  The reverend attempts to have the masses wake up to their spending, but doesn’t push the christian button as a lot of people would assume.  Rather it’s a plea to get everyone to realize what Christmas is all about and  put down the crippling debt and spending.

7.  The Hebrew Hammer

Yeah, I realize that I said Christmas movies, but let’s not forget about our Jewish brothers out there who also celebrate the holiday season with Hanukkah.  A pretty interesting plot where the main hero must save Hanukkah from the evil son of Santa Claus or else everyone will have to celebrate Christmas.  Solid comedy, action film in the vein of old school Blaxploitation movies and even has Mario Van Peebles as Sweetback (nice nod to the older Sweetback films). The films biggest strength is the comedy and parodying of the Jewish faith in a nice tongue in cheek fashion.  It’s a great film that puts a lot of love and action into making a Jewish centric holiday action movie.

6.  Home Alone

Come on, how can I not have this on here.  The ultimate kid movie that centers around the McCallister family and their impending travel to Paris to spend Christmas there.  Poor little Kevin is the neglected child who just wants the family to stay there and celebrate Christmas.  Sure enough he gets left behind by the entire family, which will make for a nice child endangerment case later on, so Kevin must fend for himself during Christmas.  I forgot what the message of the movie was since I was more focused on watching a kid somehow outwit two grown, adult males with paint cans and spiders.

5.  Gremlins

Seriously, besides the fact that these Mowai’s could turn into grotesque looking creatures and start murdering everyone, I fucking wanted one of these.  Holy hell were these little things cute and cuddly.  Now the movie centers around the Christmas holidays and the main character receives this Mogwai as a gift for Christmas.  This begs the question, WHO THE FUCK BUYS THIS UNKNOWN ANIMAL?  Seriously, who the hell buys an animal from an antique shop in Chinatown?  I don’t care if your son really is into Asian culture, buy them a fucking samurai sword and be happy the only thing they can do is harm themselves and not an entire town.  Anyways, death and violence ensue, which brings the survivors just a bit closer to one another during the holiday season.

4.  National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation

This is the best Chevy Chase movie ever.  Fletch, Three Amigos, and all those other National Lampoon films don’t even come close to this movie.  It basically combines all those horror stories about hosting Christmas for the family and plays them out in front of our eyes.  There is a little something in this movie for everyone to relate too.  You might have some Uncle who lives in a trailer home who dumps his shitter contents into the sewer, you might live next to some yuppy neighbors who value the materialistic side of Christmas or even the abomination of Christmas dinner.  This is hands down one of the best comedy films about Christmas ever.  It’s quotable, funny, endearing and honest in the portrayal of the often alluded, perfect family Christmas.

3.  Rocky IV

Rocky Balboa defeats Ivan Drago on Christmas Day, thus ending the Cold War and having the people of Russia going out and buying American flags  in bulk to wave outside the Kremlin.  THAT IS ALL.

2.  Scrooged

This is the only version of A Christmas Carol that I will ever watch in my lifetime.  I know you might be saying, “…but Nick, Patrick Stewart did a great job acting in his version of A Christmas Carol.”  I don’t care what the wimpy Captain Picard did in his version of a Christmas Carol.  The only thing I want to see Stewart do is “engage” in stupid, intergalactic diplomacy or leading a group of mutants from a wheelchair.  For me, the epitome of Scrooge comes from Bill Murray’s take on the Charles Dickens classic.  It’s an incredible modern retelling of the classic story, but made better cause it has Bill Fucking Murray in the role.  The film also takes some time to Lampoon the rampant cash cow of Christmas themed television specials, most notably the Robert Goulet’s Cajun Christmas special and the Lee Major’s back show “The Night The Reindeer Died”.  I died a little inside knowing that these shows will never exist.  😦

1.  Die Hard

Yes!  The ultimate Christmas movie.  Search your black hearts and you will know that this is true.  Terrorists take over the Nakatomi Plaza building, hoping to act all Grinch like and steal $640 million in bearer bonds.  But one man, one drunk, balding man will put a stop to this reign of terror and bring about a Christmas miracle.  You got Bruce Willis as John McClane, the man who won’t let these terrorists bastard ruin Christmas for everyone in the building.  Then you got Alan Rickman as Hans Gruber, a man who so fiendish, he ruins a company Christmas party and takes everyone hostage.  Who the hell ruins a Christmas party?  In this tough economy, it’s rare to see a company throw a Christmas party for its employees.  But even a villain can believe in Christmas miracles, as one is needed to help him get into the vault with all the money.

Die Hard ushered in the average joe action movies.  We were so used to seeing muscle-bound dudes go guns a blazing and take out a village worth of bad guys, that seeing someone like John McClane overcome the odds. It has everything you want in a Christmas movie.  You have a holiday setting, a general conflict that drives home the point of Christmas, a villain (one of the best villains around) and plucky hero who is able to save Christmas and defeat evil all without shoes.  Not even terrorists are going to ruin Christmas.  It’s the greatest Christmas movie in existence.

About Nick
I am just another blogger putting his thoughts into a website. My love is movies so most of my musings will be movie related. I work as an online marketer for an advertising company and when I am not earning a paycheck, I moonlight as a vigilante film blogger.

3 Responses to Top Ten Christmas Movies

  1. Luke Physioc says:

    I scrolled slowly….. enjoyed the whole thing….. and then I saw Die Hard. You know my feelings on this. My heart leaps with pride knowing that you what the real reason for the season is:

    McClane droppin’ many suckaz.

    • Nick says:

      Die Hard should be placed right in the pantheon of other Christmas movies that are revered for being classics. That’s right, the movie should right next A Christmas Carol and It’s A Wonderful Life

  2. Pingback: Movie of the Day – Rocky IV « Another Plot Device

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